June 13th, 2003



Jet is definitely two. Last night, at the pool, he kept insisting on going down the slide headfirst. Not only does the pool not allow that, but we've enforced, from the first time he was on a slide, that he cannot go down headfirst. And last night he tried it six times in a row, and the one time he started going down sitting and we cheered that fact, he immediately threw himself forward and ended up headfirst. John caught him and put him down on his belly, feet first, and he cried the whole way down.

It was, however, reassuring to see a girl, just a week older than Jet, get that two-year-old smile on her face as she climbed up onto the tile platform between the play pool and the outlet of the giant slides. Her father stated, in the same tones that I would have used, that she was NOT to jump into the other side. And she just smiled that smile at him before tensing to jump. He caught her before she did and we had the usual flailing and a few screams before getting interested in other things on this side of the area.

This had an interesting bit about how young kids like rules. As a parent, I wouldn't know it from the way Jet's been acting, but at a gut level, I think it's true. Even when Jet's kicking and screaming, sometimes I know that it's good that we're reinforcing The Rules calmly and consistently. Some things are so. Like only being able to go off the deck with shoes. That one only goes to the sandbox with some supervision, even if it's just Mom weeding and watering the tomato plot.

But sometimes it's just really hard when Jet's obviously having No Fun. It's often harder for John as when Jet really starts kicking, Jet's now tall enough to get John in a very, very vulnerable spot. So both John and I have gotten good at the football hold. It's also hard in that I sometimes wonder if I wasn't imaginative enough to give Jet choices. I try, with everything we do, to give him a choice so he has some control. Even if it's as simple as, "Do you want to walk with us or do you want me to pick you up and carry you?"

That paid off last night, as Jet was clinging to some candy machines, and I gave him that choice. I picked him up for two steps and he said, "Walk! I walk!!" so I set him down and he walked with us! Wow. It went the other way the other night at the grocery store, where he said, "Up! Up!" and I carried him through the store instead of having to chase him all over it trying to fix all the chaos he was creating.

And Jet's testing every rule and seeing what holds. It's to be expected, and I hope he does get a sense for who he is apart from us, and that he gets to make choices and they matter out of it all, but it's still hard to do.

Mildly Spooky

There's a bird on the railing on our front porch. It's just huddled there, eyes tightly closed, but upright on the railing. It's obviously sick or injured or something. It was at an angle to the railing, tail stuck out for balance, when I first saw it this morning and when I got home from work for lunch. It has changed so that it's now sitting in line with the railings, but its eyes are just as tightly shut. So I know it's alive.

John said that it was sleeping this morning, and I agreed, as it seemed to be. I'm not all that sure what else to do about it. Maybe just give it peace enough to heal? get better? or die quietly? I dunno.

Anyway, neither of our neighbors have cats anymore, the coyotes took care of them. So I think it's safe enough for now, but the sight of it is mildly haunting.

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I'm glad that I was entirely wrong. Soon after writing the last entry, I saw the bird get up and waddle to face into the wind, on the railing, and go back to sleep.

I guess it was just tired. It flew away when the thunderstorms rolled in. So it was just fine.

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Jet surprised the heck out of John and I tonight. I'd gotten a book called Overcoming Repetitive Motion Injuries the Rossiter Way, and it basically is a book of stretches that need the help of a friend. A lot of it involves the helper using their feet to apply as much pressure as the person doing the stretches needs on certain points. So John was helping me out with them when Jet tackled him yelling, "No! No! Go away!!" and crying pretty fiercely. We figure Jet thought John was hurting me and was defending me.

That nearly made me cry. Bitty gnat boy tackling great big guy so fiercely in my defense is NOT something I would have thought would happen.

We stopped. We all got hugs, and Jet got reassured and while he pushed John away a few times, eventually, he hugged John, too. John went to sleep, and I took care of Jet until he calmed down enough to do the usual going to sleep routine. John and I will have to do this when Jet's napping tomorrow or something. It's obviously upsetting him. Poor toddler.